This week during #bufferchat, we were joined by the awesome team over at Markon Brand Design – Kristine Neil, Mike Wagner and Jenna Bauman – to reflect on 2015 and set some conquerable goals for 2016. We discussed our business communications resolutions for this year and tons of awesome encouragement and advice was shared!

Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, every week on Wednesdays, 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 5 pm UTC, for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community managers. It’s a fun time!

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Q1: What was the most important business communications lesson you learned in 2015?

From Kristine, Mike and Jenna:

  • That sometimes getting ahead is as simple as showing up. It’s the little things that make you stand out from competition.
  • Being present is the most important thing you can do for business. Be responsive. Communicate.
  • It’s not about how much you achieve or meeting a metric. Again: show up. Steadily working toward your goal will payoff.

From the community:

  • “‘Listen to understand, not to respond’. My favorite quote, and 2015 was a year of putting it into action!” @Anne_E_Mercer
  • “Make an effort to be clear in communication and check in with the team everyday. Transparency and empathy are key.” @AbdoRef
  • “I always try to remember what my journalism professor taught, ‘You’re a person first, (job title) second.'” @SchraudnerMT

See all the great answers to question 1 here!

Q2: What is the biggest challenge you face regarding communications in 2016?

From Kristine, Mike and Jenna:

  • Our primary challenge every year is continuing to better align our content with the needs of our clients.
  • If our content doesn’t have purpose, we don’t have purpose. (gif)
  • Purposely and effectively using each social media channel. It’s about rolling with tech & meeting clients where they are.

From the community:

  • “Convincing my clients that social media is extremely important to their marketing.” @socialeyze
  • “Prioritizing what requires your attention immediately, what can be dealt with later and what can be delegated.” @ShellyKramer
  • “My biggest challenge is producing content that stands out from the online noise. There’s a LOT out there!” @lifeofaworkgirl

See all the great answers to question 2 here!

Q3: Do you have a strategy for meeting your primary challenge in 2016?

From Kristine, Mike and Jenna:

  • We are planning to create content around month long themes in 2016. The goal is to be able to create better convos!
  • BTW, for Jan 2016, the theme is “strategy.”
  • We have a plan A, but plan B is always to be responsive to changes. If a system or strategy isn’t working – ADAPT.
  • Not sure how to tackle your challenges? Take note of all possible avenues. Knowledge is power.

From the community:

  • “Relationships are key to achieving marketing goals. From your team to influencers – they’re instrumental in driving success.” @TheCoolestCool
  • “Focus, remain flexible, pivot when required. Make data-driven decisions.” @kendrabullen
  • “This year I’m taking to time to map out specific goals for every month of the year.” @sola_eclipses

See all the great answers to question 3 here!

Q4: What tools or other support can help you conquer this challenge?

From Kristine, Mike and Jenna:

  • Planning & scheduling is a lot easier with a visual content calendar. We use a combo between a white board & .
  • Our visual, physical in-house calendar helps keep the whole team on theme (& on task) when developing content.
  • ’s new calendar view is tremendously helpful in keeping consistent sharing habits.

From the community:

  • “In terms of tech, I’m an analytics/data junkie, so it’s all about tracking the numbers and the strategy side by side.” @temekoruns
  • “Tools like , , , , – keeping your ears to the ground, sharing insights as a team.” @denisechan26
  • “I want to collabo w/ awesome like-minded folks, use LinkedIn more for networking & maybe get a mentor.” @iamgiamaxwell

See all the great answers to question 4 here!

Q5: Is there a business or organization whose messaging style you wish to emulate/learn from?

From Kristine, Mike and Jenna:

  • We have mad respect for so many but we aim to craft our own voice that honors OUR brand.
  • We’ve given props before for their stellar social media customer service. Responsiveness wins big in our book.
  • Learning from what other people don’t do well is just as helpful. How can we be (good) different than everyone else?

From the community:

  • “I was SO impressed w/ . Brilliant branding, mktg & customer experience. Tons to learn from them! – Sam” @rankpay
  • “Just discovered . They are one of the greatest storytelling brand examples of 2015/16.” @ExpWriters
  • “I have to hand it to – They’re successfully weaving emotion/heart into their messages and it’s working!” @LalainaRabary

See all the great answers to question 5 here!

Q6: Share the mantra that inspires you to conquer your goals in 2016!

From Kristine, Mike and Jenna:

  • “The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity and accountability.” – Simon Mainwaring
  • We recommend that everyone hum “consistency, consistency, consistency” as they work. Whistle it if you must.
  • Every piece of content we put out must be weighed against this one question: is it ON BRAND?

From the community:

  • “Don’t try to be perfect, just keep getting better!” @kymberlaine
  • “Aim for happiness not success, for if you are happy you are successful.” @sola_eclipses
  • “Own it. Do it. Done.” @alexandermania
  • “Mantra this year: Wake up. Kick ass. Repeat.” @OutgoingOwl
  • “Same every year (it’s in my Twitter header): “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” ~Henry Ford” @ChristinKardos

See all the great answers to question 6 here!

Thank you so much to Kristine, Mike, Jenna at Markon Brand Design and to everyone who participated in this great chat!

Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/noon Eastern. Join our new Slack community with over 1,000 members to continue these awesome conversations all week long!

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Image sources: UnSplash

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Written by Arielle Tannenbaum

Community Strategist at Buffer. In addition to her love of community building, Arielle also loves vegetables, cooking, practicing yoga, meditating, living mindfully, and exploring the connections between health and happiness!

  • Sam Warren

    Thanks for sharing my thoughts from the #bufferchat. It was fun, I’ll definitely be back for more 🙂 -Sam

    • Arielle Friedlander

      Oh you’re so welcome, Sam! It was awesome to have you in the chat! 🙂 -Arielle